The Need for Accessible Playgrounds
Research indicates that there are nearly 50,000 children with some type of disability in the northeast Ohio region, with 26,000 in Cuyahoga County alone.
Our 60,000 square foot outdoor play facility features playable areas for children with a wide variety of disabilities. The facility is available to children of all ages, religious, ethnic or racial backgrounds.
To ensure that we reach our intended community, we have formed alliances with local and regional agencies such as The March of Dimes, Youth Challenge, United Cerebral Palsy, the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center.
An accessible playground is an asset to the community and to the health and well being of all children. Until now, there was no such environment that provided accessible structures that were safe and secure for children utilizing special equipment such as crutches or wheelchairs or one that truly enables children with and without disabilities to play alongside one another. Opportunities for the development of self esteem and social skills will be nurtured through the environment as imaginative and cooperative play takes place. This play environment creates a setting for a positive family interaction while allowing disabled children and adults an opportunity to demonstrate their competencies, set goals and demonstrate accomplishments.
There is a great difference between accessible and disability/wheelchair friendly play. Most accessible playgrounds found today only provide a ramp, which requires a child to leave their support equipment behind in order to access the play structure.
A survey done by Boundless Playgrounds™ showed less than 10% of children with disabilities are able to leave their support equipment thus making play for them in existing playgrounds less than satisfying or gratifying.
In addition, parents of disabled children have indicated a frustration in taking their children to an inaccessible playground.